Thursday, March 9, 2017

Economic Ecosystem

An Economic Ecosystem

"Mark Mazower, in his Books Essay “On Your Marx” (Life & Art, August 6), says: “Communism may have failed. But it can scarcely be said that contemporary capitalism – with its intensifying tendency to increasing inequality, its propensity to crisis, its hollowing-out of political institutions, and its casualisation of the labour force – has succeeded.” Professor Mazower is factually right: communism was an “ism” in the sense that it was a coherent doctrine for governing this world. It had its promises, and it failed in delivering them. Capitalism, on the other hand, is distinctly not an “ism”. It is no doctrine to manage the world but an evolving ecosystem, constantly coping with threats to its own survival, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much."

This is from a letter to the editor to the "Financial Times" and recognizes a remarkable, common and important error in thinking that even someone who is presumably a professor exhibits: Capitalism is not a dogma. Capitalism is the logical development of a free economy as created by free individuals. It has a simple tenet: Individual improvement and growth also benefits the community. It has no promise, no creed other than the freedom of the individual. It does not punish its detractors or burn its heretics. The dogmas of Communism and Socialism kill, enslave and persecute their opponents while their periods of dominance have resulted in terror, death, starvation and despair; on the other hand McCloskey shows that, after 1800, modern economic growth increased roughly tenfold over the world population, 30 fold for developed, “capitalist” countries.
How could the good Professor Mazower write something so obviously ill-informed?

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